Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Will the Obama Presidency Usher in a New Era of Change?

Over a billion people all over the world watched on TV and over the Internet, over 200 million Americans watched from home and about 2 million Americans attended President Obama's inauguration at Washington DC. (wonder how many will attend the second inauguration in January 2013?)




What did we all witness?
  • The 44th president of the mightiest superpower (don’t hear much of that mighty bit anymore!) being sworn in
  • The first non-white US president ever
  • Another well orchestrated “historical” pageant Americans are so keen on and good at - The 150 year old Bible of Abraham Lincoln dragged out to witness a historical event
  • About 2 million modern comfort loving Americans throng the streets in freezing cold to witness this event
  • Totally new and fresh dress icon for women in Michelle Obama




Yes, all these but most importantly something that few people get to experience in their lifetimes. When the bed of the river of history has discernibly tilted in a certain direction, a Moses like figure appears and promises that by being united in will, effort and commitment all the people together can change the direction the river of history will take. 




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By an astonishing quirk of history the backdrop against which this tumultuous scene unfolds is graced by the parting president, now widely acknowledged as the most incompetent leader in American history by many historians.




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The reigning dynasties of Bushes, Clintons and Kennedys are all there among the hawks, foxes and wolves of Capitol Hill. The two million strong ordinary folks have brought a message that they are tired of the arrogance of the incumbent. 

The new leader has woken the people to a new vigil. The 3rd President Jefferson’s word ring true here. 
If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.” 
So, is this president an individual exception? Only time will tell.





USA in the Same Position as Britain at the End of the Victorian Era

  • It remains to be seen if this lanky man with a sprightly gait with very little money like another lanky lawyer 160 years ago is the exception. 
  • The state of the economy is grim, productivity is sinking and mismanagement competes with corruption to divide the nation into the arrogant wealthy despising the increasing masses of the dispossessed. 
  • Two totally unnecessary wars have drained resources and sapped the moral strength of the nation. 
  • USA has reached the stage of imperial decay like Britain in the end of the Victorian era when about 20-30% of the profits of the industrial-commercial complex come from foreign direct investments. 
  • To protect these interests, America has military presence in over sixty countries, like Britain then.

Can American ingenuity and resolute action clinch again initiatives in the field of production and commerce without the need for coercion? 


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Will Americans rediscover the idea of America, which has stood as a beacon of inspiration for people tortured by the storied pomp of the ancient lands and attracted the wretched refuse of their teeming shores, the homeless to a promised land of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

Expediency or ideals, brute force or diplomacy, fear mongering or courage to make hard decisions – the task is hard and the night is long.



Will President Obama really be able to make any changes? There are two options. His high rhetoric and idealism will be contagious and result in positive changes. Issues which had been neglected or unapproachable due to partisan politics would be addressed and the continuous wars would stop.

The other option is that the destiny of the American Empire is too rigidly en route wherever it is going and the high priest of oratory will be remembered for his beautiful words and other things will just get worse. This seems rather more likely when one considers that 25% of Americans have a mental disease and 50% will get one in their lifetime, according to US Adult Mental Illness Surveillance Report.



Historical Example of Grand Success from Ancient Persia

One of the earliest success stories of this Herculean task is from a place labelled as the “Axis of Evil” by the previous administration. Around 540 B.C. Cyrus the Great of Persia got rid of the impious Nabonidus and ushered in an era of tolerance, prosperity and reforms. He also managed to settle for a time one crucial issue President Obama tactfully omitted from his inaugural speech – the Jewish-Palestinian question.


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This first 'human rights charter' in history, the Cyrus Cylinder, which can be freely seen at the British Museum in London bears witness as does the Book of Ezra in the Bible, that even the Jewish question can be solved if there is a will.

Yes, we can! There is hope (of what, that is another question)!

The new official White House website is now more open than the George II version.





Photos Source: Wikimedia Commons


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